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8-8-88: We won’t forget, we won’t give up

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burma.jpgAbout 200 people gathered outside the Burmese embassy in Thailand on Friday, 8 August, to commemorate 20 years of student-led pro-democracy demonstrations in the country.

The protesters carried colorful banners, red planes and baloons, while shouting slogans of "Free Burma". More photos inside.


A representative from the Peace for Burma Coalition read out a statement, after which, hundreds of red paper planes were launched at the embassy gate.



The planes were pre-made with the message "8 8 88, we won’t forget, we won’t give up" written on them.


Later, a paper effigy of what looked like the Burmese flag was set to flame, followed by loud cheering from the crowds.



The actions delighted the press. The protest ended peacefully with no untoward incident. The event concluded with the release of a hundred red balloons, with pictures from inside Burma.


On August 8, 1988, student-led pro-democracy demonstrations began in Burma's then capital, Rangoon, and quickly spread to other cities over the following six weeks.

Government security forces violently suppressed the rallies, killing about 3,000 people.


Thousands more were imprisoned, including Opposition leader Aung San Suk Kyi, who is currently still under house arrest, despite international outcry.

Despite visits from UN human rights advocates and resolutions passed by the United Nations, about 2,050 political prisoners remain in detention (Amnesty International).